respelling of Old English hw- attested from 11c., but not the common form until after c.1400; also added to some borrowed words (whisk, whelk) and some native words formerly spelled with simple w- or h- (whole, whore). Proper pronunciation has been much in dispute in educated speech.

Nearby words

  1. wg,
  2. wga,
  3. wgmc,
  4. wh,
  5. wh question,
  6. wh-question,
  7. wh-word,
  8. wha,
  9. whachamacallit,
  10. whack

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper